By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Sara Blankenship appeared to be a little tired on Saturday morning after a busy Friday working the order window at Cousins Carry Out in the heart of Ashland. The business opened last week, just in time to greet hundreds of visitors who came to the local trails during the long Independence Day holiday period.
“We’ve been here since Monday,” Sara Blankenship said. The business is owned by two cousins from Northfork Hollow — Lynn Rose and Shawana Blankenship — and specializes in providing carryout orders to its customers.
“Lynn just lives down the road from here, and we live in McDowell,” Sara Blankenship said as her mother, Shawana, prepared a carryout meal for a customer. “We’ve been pretty busy.”
Shawana Blankenship paused for a moment, came to the window long enough to drop off the to-go box and answered the phone to take another order. “We just opened, Sara Blankenship said. Cousins Carry Out is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Jake Potter, owner of Jake’s Grocery in Worth, has been serving the Northfork Hollow public for decades. During the July 8, 2001 flood, Worth and surrounding Northfork Hollow communities were extremely hard hit. Jake and his wife, Sue Potter, provided a central location for the distribution of goods and services during that time of need and received special recognition from the soldiers of the South Carolina National Guard units who restored basic infrastructure services in the area, along with recognition from the American Red Cross.
“These ATV trails are the best thing that has happened to this area in years,” Potter said. “The ATV riders have helped my business and other businesses along the way.
“The state Division of Highways could come up here and make it easier on all of these people who come up here with these big travel trailers,” Potter said. “If the DOH and the county could cut the brush back on the side of the roads, they wouldn’t have to cross the center lines as much as they do.
“I don’t blame the people with travel trailers for that,” Potter said. “If I had a travel trailer that nice, I wouldn’t want to drive it into the branches along the side of the road and get it all scratched up.”
The arrival of the trails on Northfork Hollow has generated activity throughout the area with bed and breakfast sites, restaurants, ATV repair shops and more occupying former business locations that have been vacant for decades.
— Contact Bill Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org